Jesus left a crowd of people where He was appreciated and valued so He could help a raving lunatic. In Mark 5:1-20, we read about a man who was completely undone and thoroughly tormented by loads of demons. He was demon possessed and was living a very tortured, painful and isolated life. When he was described in these verses, I was deeply moved by his tragic existence. He would roam the tombs & mountains with no human contact, gashing himself, screaming and unclothed with no hope of reprieve or help – until Jesus came.
When we come across people in our lives who are broken, hurting, dysfunctional, crazy, hostile, erratic and even barbaric, let’s be willing to see past these descriptions and difficulties to see a human in need of love and redemption. Let’s remember that the enemy of humanity is seeking to torture, deceive and destroy humans in any way possible. On the other side, Jesus wants to work through us to bring love, healing and redemption! Let’s make sure we stay on Jesus’ side 🙂
The first person to whom Jesus appeared after His resurrection was Mary Magdalene. Mary seems to be an unlikely prospect for Jesus’
considering that He could’ve appeared to some “higher quality” folk. In Mark 16:9, we read about Mary, “He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.”
Why would Jesus pick a former lunatic chick to make His first appearance? Why not Peter, who denied Jesus but was clearly a leader among the disciples. Why not Mary, Jesus’ mom? Why not John, the disciple whose love for Jesus was noteworthy? Why this Mary Magdalene?
I totally love that Jesus first appeared to this woman. I love that Jesus picked the least likely person who had possibly been the most deranged & to her He revealed His resurrected self.
On our journey to Pentecost, let’s allow Jesus into the “crazy” places in our lives. Indeed, Jesus is our resurrected Prince of Peace, the One who calms the chaos & dispels the darkness.
There’s a homeless guy that hangs around my coffee shop & if you just took a quick look at him, you’d think that he’s insane. He looks kind of gruff, unshaven, sometimes not so clean & generally unkempt. As I get to know him, he’s less and less scary to me – in fact, I think he’s quite gentle and polite. Some people probably think that he needs to be committedsomewhere.
Perhaps committment is the solution to much of the insanity in which we live. Think about it:
a committed relationship with Jesus infuses our daily living, helping us to forgive, make right choices, think right thoughts, become more mature & effective and Jesus helps us love better & more everyday.
being committed to our job or school helps us to get a consistent paycheck or grades that are necessary ingredients for daily living & future success
being committed is another way of being planted: no roots = no fruit 🙂